X,Y. Chart axis, not Chromosomes

Definitions and classifications

I have thought about the wide range of “definitions” and “classifications” of crossdressing and wondered if there is a better way than putting a name on how an individual my dress of see themselves. One question I recently saw was whether or not “pantie boys” are/should/could be classified as crossdressers. This also brings into question the definition of the term crossdressing. There are so many variations on the term, one only needs to Google “crossdressing definition” to confirm this and also realize there are just as many personal opinions.

Until quite recently, the term “Transvestite” was more widely used, but for me this word, that means to cloth in the opposite sex, holds a lot of negative connotations. From movies to television (shows and news), a guy dressed in women’s clothing is either laughed at or a phyco criminal and is always refered to as a transvestite no matter how little or how much he was dressed. I also find the shorter term “tranny” derogatory (oh my God…its a tranny!). But that’s just me. Some CD types don’t mind and call themselves as such.

Wikipedia has a pretty good page with a number of definitions from the T world (there’s another can of worms…do crossdressers belong under the umbrella of transgender terms… that’s for another time), but again, the definition is very broad (pun not intended).


Plotting a point on a chart

I have described myself as a “heterosexual crossdresser”, but this description does not give the reader any idea as to what I do when I participate in this activity. It could be, as I have mentioned before, as little as wearing nylons under my guy pants or as extreme as spending much of my free time fully dressed.

Here is an idea I have been playing with. A simple x,z chart. The horizontal  x-axis is a measure of the frequency that one dresses. The vertical y-axis, a measure of dressing intensity. This chart would be for the use of those like myself, hetero-CD’s (don’t worry if you don’t fit this chart, I’ll explain later to be more inclusive).

Example 1 would be someone completely made up maybe only once a year. Example 2 dressed all the time as a full woman, ready to move off this chart and onto something else. 3 could be someone just experimenting with crossdressing and example 4, wearing something like panties all the time because they are comfortable. Most of the time I fall into the A box with the occasional time spent in the B box. Someone who was able to spend pretty much every weekend fully dressed would be in box C and maybe if you could just wear a blouse and skirt or a few other articles of feminine attire every week or two, they would be in box D. Or to put it another way (in terms of X,Y) I’m a hetero CD X2Y10. The partly dressed weekend CD, X7Y5.

Now, imagine if we added an additional dimension, Z, which would mesure….I’m not sure what to call it….but I imagine it going from hetero-CD (0) to fully transitioned (10), perhaps call it the scale of transgenderism. So, I would be X2Y10Z0. A fully transitioned woman would be at the opposite end of the Z scale and would be a X10Y10Z10. Oh, there, I went a put crossdressing in the TG grouping but I’m going to save that for another time.

Wondering if anybody has any thoughts on my whimsical charting? Where would you plot yourself?

Thanks for reading.



  1. Suzanne Cole

    Hello Michelle,

    We are indeed a fascinating group of individuals. It seems that one of the many things we have in common is the desire to share our experiences. It is really amazing how much alike we all are in our very early desires to dress and our later drive to finally present as a woman. I am fortunate to live in the Boston area where there is a large TG community and most importantly the Tiffany Club. The Tiffany Club is a wonderful organization where TG folks of all types can meet and find comfort that we are not alone. I have been fortunate to meet a number of friends who like to go out to eat at local restaurants on Tuesdays. This is something that I look forward to every week. It is so much fun to go out in public and be one of the girls. I am fortunate in that I am fairly passable and am treated well wherever I go.

    I enjoyed reading your blogs and look forward to your next entries.


    • Hi Suzanne,
      Although I really enjoy living in a rural setting, it does present the problem of not being able to find or attend any get togethers with those like us. I have never spoken about being a CD to anybody but my wife, so I am hoping that after remaining quiet for so many years, this blog will help me examine my life, provide an outlet for my inner person and provide some entertainment for others.
      Thanks for reading.

  2. Helen Chapel

    Hi I know this particular post was written back in Jan, so I hope you will still get a notification that I stopped by. I completely agree with you regarding the difficulties of trying to define yourself so that it helps yourself as well as others to guage where you are and what you might have in common with others especially when making freindships.

    I’m Helen, by the way, I live in the UK but I used to live in Edmonton a few years back and so I was drawn to your post when I wondered if NAIT was the NAIT I knew! 🙂 Anyhow…..get to the point Helen!

    I blogged for two years or more and made some really lovely friends but the more I got to know them I realised that I was not fully on their path. Some were transitioning to full male to female life and most were trying to dress all the time with a strong hope that one day they would be able to live as a woman full time too. For me that is unlikely. I built a career being in the public as an artist so to be recognised walking down the street in heels could be painful for my family who are very proud of me and perhaps bad for business professionally. Although I have wondered if it might actually have the opposite effect! So I live almost all the time publically as a man but privately as a woman and this is really hard because I am always torn between two worlds and risk one of them being discovered.

    I have just started to blog once more because I realised I need friendship with those like myself. I would like to be firends?
    Helen x

    • Ah yes…..the city formally known as “The City of Champions”. I was a Flames/Stamps supporter though. 🙂 I’ll drop you a line. M.

  3. Always glad to meet another traveler on our strange road, Michelle! I think I know how you would expand your 2-D chart to a third dimension. The Z-axis might be “gender identity” or something like that. By this I mean, whether you consider yourself more male or female internally. There are many (most?) crossdressers who are just one snip of the scalpel short of becoming full transsexuals; they consider themselves female in mind if not in body or they have a distinct “male” and “female” half that dominates depending on how they are dressed. But another segment of the population just enjoys the clothes — either for personal comfort or sexual gratification or whatever — while still considering themselves entirely or mostly male on the inside.

    Does that make sense? For example, I would place myself far to the right on the X-axis (dressed to some extent nearly all the time), perhaps 2/3 of the way up the Y-axis (underwear, nightgowns, dresses, skirts, hosiery but no bra, makeup or wig), and almost entirely on the male end of the Z-axis. I don’t have a female name to use when I’m dressed, I don’t use female pronouns, I don’t behave any differently when I am dressed vs. when I am not (despite what those 1980s newspaper articles claim)… heck, I don’t even shave. I’m just me, or as the great philosopher Popeye put it, I yam what I yam.

    Needless to say I’m not at all judging those who find themselves in a different part of our self-identification grid!

  4. Hi Michelle.
    I found your diagram very interesting. It’s a different way of making sense of many similar questions I have. On your diagram, I would be at point A: very rarely dress, but when I do, I want to go the absolutely full Monty. Although I used to, I now find very little satisfaction in being half-dressed or of wearing feminine attire under my male clothing.
    Several of the posts on my blog touch on some of the points you make here, including my dislike of the word “transvestite”– or worse, “tranny”. Ugh!
    Where I live I am about 2 hours away from a large city. In my town, everybody knows everybody, which means that I haven’t been out dressed here, although I have been out (very late at night) in my last town.
    Anyway, I have read several of your other posts and I enjoy your pictures very much. I also admire your bravery in getting out and about the way you do!
    Best wishes,

    • Thanks for your comment. When I have some time, I will be sure to read the rest of your blog. I had a gander at your last post, I guess there are a number of us still trying to find that elusive definitive answer as to what we are and why we are.


  1. What kind of crossdresser are we? « Healing from Crossdressing

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